Jacksonville sees annual job growth in almost all sectors

The Northeast Florida unemployment rate rises to 2.5% in January after holiday jobs are cut.

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  • | 11:56 a.m. March 13, 2023
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Jacksonville’s unemployment rate rose in January, a normal seasonal trend after workers hired for the holiday season are let go. 

However, Northeast Florida continues to see strong job growth, with almost every private industry sector reporting increased payrolls in the past year.

The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from a revised 2.2% in December to 2.5% in January, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported March 13.

Businesses in Northeast Florida shed a net total of 12,500 jobs from December to January, but the area’s 786,900 nonfarm jobs in January were 35,600 more than January 2022, a 4.7% increase.

The state’s labor market report for January is delayed every year until early March as the Department of Economic Opportunity revises its monthly data from the previous year.

This year, the agency added new business sector categories to its jobs report and the previously unreported category of management of companies and enterprises had the highest percentage growth in the past year.

Those jobs rose by 1,000, or 11.8%, from January 2022 to January 2023.

Hospitals, which were not previously reported as a separate category, also had strong growth with a gain of 3,100 jobs, or 10.2%.

The leisure and hospitality sector had the third-highest growth rate with the addition of 7,000 jobs, or 8.5%.

Every sector but one added jobs in the 12-month period. The exception was the small sector of mining and logging, which was unchanged at 400 jobs.

All five counties in the Jacksonville area had increased unemployment rates in January. Duval County rose from 2.3% in December to 2.7% in January, the highest rate of the five counties.

St. Johns County was the lowest at 2.3% in January, with Nassau and Clay at 2.4% and Baker at 2.5%.

Florida’s statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.1 point to 2.6% in January.

The Department of Economic Opportunity does not adjust local area data for seasonal adjustments.